May 19, 2019 / 2:10 PM / 4 months ago

MIDEAST STOCKS-Dubai ends lower on property, banking as Gulf markets mixed

    * Arabtec falls 10% in Dubai
    * Saudi drops on banking, petrochemical shares
    * First Abu Dhabi Bank gains in Abu Dhabi
    * Qatar's Mesaieed extends gains on MSCI inclusion

    May 19 (Reuters) - Dubai's stock market closed down on
Sunday, dragged lower by property and banking shares as Gulf
markets ended the day mixed amid rising geopolitical tensions
that have shaken investor confidence. 
    Dubai's main index fell 2.2%, led by a 3.1% decline
in heavyweight Emaar Properties and a 2.3% drop in
bank Emirates NBD. Dubai Islamic Bank fell
    DAMAC Properties, which on May 15 reported its
smallest profit since going public in 2015, shed 3.0%,
recovering some earlier losses. 
    Arabtec Construction shares closed at a limit down
of 10% after it reported a halving in first-quarter profit last
week and the departure of its chief executive.
    Gulf markets have been shaky since the United Arab Emirates
said four vessels had been "sabotaged" off its Fujairah coast on
May 12 and Saudi Arabia blamed Yemen's Houthi's for a drone
attack on oil facilities in the kingdom on May 14.
    Saudi Arabia's main index fell 1.1% after ending the
previous week with three days of consecutive gains. 
    A senior Saudi official said on Sunday the country wanted to
avert war but was ready to respond with "all strength and
    Al Rajhi Bank fell 1.1%, Saudi Basic Industries
(SABIC) fell by 2.3%, and Jabal Omar lost
3.6%. Riyad Bank gained 1.8%.
    MSCI said on May 13 it would include MSCI Saudi Arabia in
its emerging markets index, effective May 28, a move that could
draw billions of dollars into the market.
    MSCI said 30 Saudi Arabian securities would be added,
representing an aggregate weight of 1.42% in the MSCI Emerging
Markets Index.
    Abu Dhabi's index rose 0.3%, recovering from early
losses in the session. The bourse was supported by a 0.7% gain
in First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB) and 1.0% rise in telecom
    FAB, the United Arab Emirates' largest lender, had fallen in
recent sessions after MSCI decided to maintain its foreign
inclusion factor at 25%, despite a recent increase in the
foreign ownership limit to 40% from 25%. 
   Qatar's index was flat as most shares ended lower,
offsetting Mesaieed Petrochemical's 4.5% rise and
Qatar Insurance Co's 1.3% gain.
    Mesaieed has been rising since it was added to the MSCI
index earlier this week.
    Qatar National Bank, the region's biggest lender,
lost 0.3%.
 SAUDI ARABIA  The index         fell 1.1% to 8,525 points
 ABU DHABI     The index        rose 0.3% to 4,733 points
 DUBAI         The index          fell 2.1% to 2,519 points
 QATAR         The index        was flat at 9,873 points
 EGYPT         The index          fell 1% to 13,521 points
 BAHRAIN       The index        was flat at 1,398 points
 OMAN          The index        was flat at 3,861 points
 KUWAIT        The index        fell 1.7% to 6,005 points


 (Reporting by Alexander Cornwell in Dubai;
Editing by Alison Williams/Emelia SIthole-Matarise)
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